Since way back in 1975 when Business Week published an article about ‘the office of the future’, the term ‘paperless office’ has been widely used, even more so since the introduction of tablets and smart devices.
Midshire is the Midlands’ leading independent supplier of photocopiers, printers, managed print services and document management solutions;currently servicing over 11,000 UK installations. Midshire explains how companies can work towards the ultimate goal of a paperless office and looks at some points for consideration.
In 2015, nearly 3 trillion pages were printed worldwide using desktop or freestanding multi-functional photocopiers and printers. The idea of businesses aiming to reduce their print output makes perfect sense. This would result in lower printing costs, a reduced carbon footprint and the possibility of working in a more efficient way. But will there ever be a time where businesses can operate completely free of paper? Technological developments will continue to affect the way that we work with documents and call into question whether we need that physical piece of paper as much as we used to.
Only 21% of businesses have seen a significant reduction in print since we started using tablets and smartphones, with 39% of businesses reporting no real impact to their print volumes.
Print is still a huge cost to businesses both large and small, and as such needs to be treated as something that won’t go away any time soon.
What steps can you take to reduce office print volumes?
- Implement a Managed Print Service
A Managed Print Service (MPS) enables businesses to gain control over the way they print, focusing on: reducing the amount of duplicated print jobs, unnecessary colour usage and the removal of the requirement for excessively overpriced print cartridges for smaller ‘off the shelf’ printers.Other advantages of a well-tailored ‘MPS’ can include, improved document security, automated toner dispatch and environmental benefits such as reduced power consumption and carbon footprint.
Quocirca estimates that almost 50% of large enterprises (over 1,000 employees) are now using some form of MPS, more so in very large enterprises.However, more and more startups and younger businesses are now adopting an MPS that can grow with them, to avoid high costs, a lack of control and an unnecessary impact on the environment.
- Add PaperCut to your MPS
PaperCut is a simple software that can be added to any MPS solution to manage and control a company’s printing. Its features reduce waste; encourage responsible behaviour and make users and departments accountable for their printing and copying. By adding PaperCut software to your existing printer fleet it is guaranteed to reduce your company’s printing by 15%, industry standard.
PaperCut allows businesses to easily manage and set rules around print volumes and types of printing. It also allows finance and IT managers to accurately budget for print spend. Midshire is one of the country’s top PaperCut software solution centres and currently has over 85,000 users with PaperCut installed to manage their devices.All types of business can benefit from using PaperCut, including: legal firms, SMEs local authorities and schools.
- Switch to a Hosted Desktop
A hosted desktop is a virtual environment that uses the internet to give you access to all of your business software programmes, files and documents, anywhere in the world, at anytime.
Hosted desktop is ideal for mobile workers and means teams can easily collaborate in the virtual environment.This collaboration and flexibility reduces the need to print out documents because you always have access to what you need. Added benefits of Hosted Desktop are that it’s easily scalable, offers high levels of security and reduces the need for IT support.
Midshire has developed its own in-house Hosted Desktop service called Desktop Monster. With data centres in the UK it means you can have full peace of mind about where your data is stored.
- Move to Office 365
Office 365 brings all your office business tools together on any device in real time. With additional tools for collaboration and communication including video conferencing, instant messaging and the ability to facilitate online meetings, Office 365 can enhance teamwork and add value for any organisation’s IT solution whether large or small.
Making the move to Office 365 will bring many benefits to businesses, giving them access to enterprise grade technology and functionality.
Online collaboration will reduce a company’s need to print.
- Make Meetings Interactive
With mobile working ever on the increase, companies are used to employees working from multiple locations. By making meetings interactive or using video and web conferencing tools, it can reduce the need for printing agendas and follow up documents.
Notes and annotations can be added on screen to websites and documents, even giving you the ability to highlight and overlay areas and notes. Work can be accessed and collaborated upon in real-time, reducing the need for print.
Using interactive touchscreens users can be working on the same projects at the same time but from multiple locations or branches within a firm.
You are not just reducing unnecessary print but also limiting travel time and the associated carbon footprint.
In summary we don’t believe a ‘paperless office’ is the goal for most organisations. Instead, many are working with MPS providers to focus on controlling their print processes and using new technology to its fullest.